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Speaking up for Dissent in Canada

As part of its commitment to freedom of expression and the importance of dissent, the BC Humanist Association has signed onto the new Voices-Voix Declaration.

The 2016 Declaration succeeds the previous declaration which decried the muzzling of government scientists, political audits of charities and general advocacy chill. With the election of a new government, the new Declaration calls for an overhaul of laws and regulations to foster a strong and independent civil society.

These changes are vital to ensuring that the BC Humanist Association and other freethought groups are able to continue to challenge religious privilege and push for greater equality for all.

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BC Humanists raise funds for Fort McMurray

By now most of us have seen the harrowing images pouring out of Northern Alberta over the past week. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from Fort McMurray an neighbouring communities as a massive wildfire engulfed the region.

To provide an opportunity to respond, the BC Humanist Association has launched a fundraiser to support the Canadian Red Cross' relief efforts.

All money donated will go directly to the Red Cross and will help provide emergency food, clothing, shelter, personal services and other necessities.

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Amend Bill C-14: Restore the patient-centred approach

The BC Humanist Association today submitted its brief to the parliamentary committee tasked with reviewing and proposing amendments to the government's draft medical assistance in dying bill. The brief contains a list of amendments to the bill that would restore the "patient-centred approach" promoted by the Special Joint Committee's report.

The bill has been widely criticized for failing to meet the criteria established by the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Canada's ban on physician-assisted dying. The Court has given Parliament until June 6 before its ruling comes into effect.

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Secular voices to intervene against proposed evangelical law school

The BC Humanist Association, along with the Canadian Secular Alliance, have been granted Leave to Intervene at the BC Court of Appeal in a case over a proposed law school at the Christian Evangelical Trinity Western University. Working together with leading lawyer Tim Dickson, the organizations will bring the voice of the secular movement to this case.

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BCHA joins global call to UN High Commissioner for Refugees to respect non-religious worldviews

The BC Humanist Association today joined thirty freethought organizations from around the world to call on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to recognize people with non-religious philosophical convictions.

The letter, organized by Atheist Alliance International, expresses concern that the Commissioner frequently refers to religious persecution, while not recognizing the threat many atheists, humanists and the non-religious.

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Federal government tables assisted dying law

The Federal Government today tabled legislation that would give some Canadians the right to choose an assisted death.

While the bill adopts some of the important provisions that the BC Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, the BC Civil Liberties Association and other advocates of choice in dying have called for, the government took a more narrow approach to the issue.

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Announcing the first BCHA Humanist Officiant Training seminar

The BC Humanist Association will be holding its first Humanist Officiant Training session on Saturday May 7, 2016 for potential Humanist celebrants.

Part of the mission of the BCHA is to offer and provide meaningful ceremonies at significant times such as marriage and death. Elsewhere in Canada and around the world, different Humanist organizations have long provided secular alternatives to mark important life milestones.

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Humanists to Abbotsford superintendent: End bible distribution or permit atheist comics

In a letter to the superintendent of the Abbotsford School District during spring break, the BC Humanist Association (BCHA) called for the distribution of Gideon Bibles and other religious materials in public schools be stopped.  The BCHA calls the practice unconstitutional and in violation of the BC School Act.

Each year the teachers in the district distribute consent cards, provided by Gideon’s International, to grade 5 students. The District then distributes Gideon Bibles to each student who returns a signed card.

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Write your MP to guarantee choice

The BC Humanist Association has written to all British Columbia Members of Parliament calling for legislation that ensures patients have access to compassionate end of life options.

After studying legislative options for physician-assisted dying, a Parliamentary committee recommended an approach that puts patients first. The BCHA is calling on MPs to adopt these recommendations and ensure that healthcare institutions that receive public funding are required to provide choice in dying.

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Praise for federal committee report on physician assisted dying

In their report to Parliament, MPs and Senators on the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying have presented a set of bold recommendations to allow suffering Canadians to choose a medically-assisted death.

The report is already receiving praise from organizations in support of choice in dying, including the BC Humanist Association and Dying With Dignity Canada.

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